Increasing user testing and feedback (was Re: Bad-mouthing and hostility)

Ryan Rix ry at
Thu Mar 11 05:29:15 UTC 2010

On Wed 10 March 2010 7:52:11 am Tom "spot" Callaway wrote:
> On 03/10/2010 09:48 AM, Matt Domsch wrote:
> > We're complaining that we can't find 3 users of a single package to
> > provide feedback.
> To be fair, I would restate this as:
> We cannot find 3 users of a package to:
> * Independently know that an update needs to be tested (is sitting in
> updates-testing)
> * Feel comfortable that they are qualified to test it
> * Download and install the update that needs testing (this assumes they
> know where to get it)
> * Perform "testing" on that package, when this is loosely defined at best.
> * Find the Bodhi page for this package update.
> * Create a FAS account if they don't have one.
> * Go back to the Bodhi page for this package update and figure out that
> "Leave a Comment" means "give karma so this package can move from
> updates-testing to updates".
> * Leave a comment.
> Gets even uglier when the package isn't an application. How does a user
> know that a library is worth giving a karma vote on? "It installed." "My
> computer didn't catch fire." "Linux still boots."
> ~spot

Well said Tom!

Can I put forth a suggestion to ease this process for contributors (and 
users!) to easily contribute to this testing, and make it as easily as 
possible for applications and libraries to have themselves "heard."

The creation of a Fedora-updates-testing mailing list.
* Mailing list would be prominetely placed on the wiki or main fedoraproject 
website "Hey, want to help? Have a few free minutes? Looking for a fix in 
your favorite package? test!" or something similar.
* The "welcome" message that mailman sends for new subscribers to a mailing 
list would lay out exactly what it is the mailing list does, and how they can 
help. "Please spend five minutes registering a Fedora Account Systems user 
name for submitting karma. If you can't do this, your testing is basically a 
waste of time as you can't submit karma" (but put it much nicer!) Install 
this python script so that you can more easily submit karma. 
** Messages will be posted to this list by package owners requestings testing 
for an update sitting in updates-testing (or koji, if more approiate). 
** Package owners list _user_facing_ changes and how they can test them, 
reference bugzilla URLs if necessary.
** If a user has any interest in testing this package, they can download it 
either using this yum command, or at this koji url and install it with this 
yum command.
** If the update works run _this_ command to update the karma or _this_ 
command to downgrade the karma and leave a comment as to why.

By creating such a list and differentiating it from the current QA list, we 
can attract people who may not usually test software. By putting everything 
right there on the mailing list we can lower the entry barrier significantly 
as well.. If there is any interest, I can write a full proposal with some 
help this weekend.

Just an idea,

Ryan Rix
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